Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Spider Woman (1979)

Spider-Woman is a 1979 animated television show that originally aired on CBS. The show was on for one season of 16 episodes.
This show is truly horrible. While keeping some elements of the comic book Spider-Woman, the creators treated her like clay and basically did whatever they wanted to with her. For example, while Spider-Woman retains her venom blasts she's given many other mysterious powers such as a Spider-Scream or Spider-Telepathy just to get out of a tough situation she's in. To change clothes she just spins around (like Wonder Woman, of course). The logic for the rest of the series pretty much follows suit. Much of the series doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

For example, in the first episode, it is revealed that the Egyptian mummies are, in fact, an alien race sent to conquer Earth that have laid dormant for 3,000 years. They then walk from all corners of the globe to Egypt in the same amount of time it takes Jessica Drew to get there in a jet helicopter. They then launch a pyramid spaceship invasion and, instead of fighting the alien mummies, Spider-Woman instead goes to a Egyptian expert, thus allowing the Earth to be conquered and everyone on Earth is turned into mummies. At one point, because she doesn't want to reveal her secret identity, she throws herself out of a moving helicopter, letting her friends thing she died.  The alien mummies are defeated when Spider-Man webs a cube around the pyramid spaceships, thus spoiling their "pyramid power." Yeah, it's that bad.

Spider-Woman works as an editor for Justice Magazine. She's accompanied by the fairly useless photographer, Jeff. Since he looks a lot like Peter Parker I'll assume this show was originally pitched as Spider-Man and Spider-Woman together. Anyway, Jeff constantly gets into trouble and basically makes things harder for Spider-Woman. He's not even developed as a love interest. Another person that hangs out with Jessica Drew is the 12 year old genius, Billy, who apparently has no family and never goes to school.

The show does feature a couple of other Marvel characters. Jessica makes a Hulk reference at one point (the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno Incredible Hulk was also on CBS). The satanic Dormammu, complete with pentagram, was featured on one episode including his Mindless Ones in the Dark Dimension (not very kid friendly...). Also featured was a laughable, vegetable-eating version of the Kingpin. And, of course, Spider-Man makes a couple of appearances of his own.

Even the animation and character designs are completely uninspired.

And, to make things worse, the writers decided to reveal their complete disregard for the source material by never missing a chance to throw in a bad pun. At one point, Jeff falls out a window, ripping a curtain on the way down. Spider-Woman, before saving him, stops to say, "Well, I guess it's curtains for Jeff!" Wait - that's you're friend and coworker falling to his death! Quick, let me demonstrate my superpower to toss out a bad pun!

Obviously, this show is less than stellar.

1LR REVIEW - 6 out of 20! It's a Failure!

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